A recent study by Harvard Business Review analyzed the utilization of competitive intelligence and market insights within large corporations. They found that an astonishing 45% of analysts’ input had no impact on decision making within the company. The primary reason, suggests HBR, is that “many executives decide on a course of action and then use competitive intelligence to ratify their choice.”
In the grand scheme of things, product management is a new field with relatively few dedicated conferences and events. But in the last couple years we’ve seen an emergence of some really high-quality ones you can’t miss.
With the rise of ‘lean’ methodologies and literature, product managers today understand that continuously generating user feedback throughout the product lifecycle can help mitigate the risk of wasting resources to build something no one wants.
When “The Lean Startup” author, Eric Ries, realized the value of validated learning, the easiest way for him to get in front of prospective customers was by building an initial version of his product, launching it, and evaluating the feedback. After all, his startup consisted primarily of engineers so building products was what they were good at, what they did quickly, and perhaps one of the only things they could do efficiently. Hence the minimum viable product.
I’m often approached by young, aspiring entrepreneurs who ask some variation of the following:
In the context of the big data revolution, I’ve overheard numerous suggestions that we can automate and commoditize user insight and feedback. But while we are certainly doing a better job at organizing quantitative data at scale, I think we are far from automating qualitative research. Furthermore, focusing on quantitative research alone gathered in the context of ‘data dumps’ misrepresents the purpose and value of user feedback. In certain ways, I believe it has regressed many organizations’ UX capabilities.
There’s one resoundingly simple reason for why most products ultimately fail: no one wants them. But those of us constantly advocating for user testing and product validation can sometimes get too fixated on this notion.
Last week we conducted experiments to explore consumer preferences for trusted sources of medical information. The results were mixed, revealing inconsistencies in how consumers perceive brands and build habits around their medical-seeking preferences.
Last month we analyzed products and organizations that Millennials perceive as innovative, as well as their spending habits. Interestingly, despite the lowest credit card adoption of any modern generation, Millennials actually rank features such as low interest rates far above mobile and web tools.